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Legitimate Violence

James Sheehan: After the Armistice, 5 July 2018

The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End, 1917-23 
by Robert Gerwarth.
Allen Lane, 446 pp., £10.99, June 2017, 978 0 14 197637 2
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... was the political order made by and for the war’s losers, the vanquished who are the subject of Robert Gerwarth’s fine book. ‘The very situations that bring about a modern war are destroyed in its wake,’ Raymond Aron wrote. ‘It is the battle in and for itself, and not the origin of the conflict or the peace treaty that constitutes the major ...

Who Betrayed Us?

Neal Ascherson: The November Revolution, 17 December 2020

November 1918: The German Revolution 
by Robert Gerwarth.
Oxford, 368 pp., £20, June 2020, 978 0 19 954647 3
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... democracy created after Germany’s defeat in 1918 which lasted until Hitler murdered it in 1933? Robert Gerwarth’s book adds to the recent revisions of Weimar by historians out to rescue that particular Germany from popular and international cliché. He refuses to see it as a state doomed from the start by inflation, violence and the collapse of moral ...

I could bite the table

Christopher Clark: Bismarck, 31 March 2011

Bismarck: A Life 
by Jonathan Steinberg.
Oxford, 577 pp., £25, February 2011, 978 0 19 959901 1
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... his statesmanship, the real or apparent brutality in his methods’. And it is certainly true, as Robert Gerwarth has shown in a recent study, that an authoritarian Bismarck myth flourished in anti-democratic circles on the German right during the Weimar Republic. It is also true, however, that Bismarck’s foreign policy, which was marked by a ...

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